Habitat Holds Mortgage Burning Ceremony to Kickoff National Homeownership Month Celebration
Habitat Homeowner Mary Scott-Taylor burns mortgage after paying off 25-year note three years early.
Clearwater, FL – Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties held a mortgage burning ceremony at it's administrative headquarters in Clearwater Wednesday morning. Habitat Homeowner Mary Scott-Taylor, a Tarpon Springs resident, paid off her 25-year mortgage note 3 years early. Mary signed for her home January 31, 2001.
"I'm just thankful and grateful," said Scott-Taylor, a mom of three. "Just to see my kids grow up in a backyard and roll around in the grass and playing, it was amazing."
"We've had only seven foreclosures in the history of our program (823 homes)," said Habitat President & CEO, Mike Sutton. "That really speaks to the information our homeowners learn in the program and their changed behaviors that will lead to a mortgage that will one day be paid off."
Scott-Taylor, who was the first Habitat Homeowner to reside in Tarpon Springs, called this moment "icing on the cake" as she went through breast cancer in recent years. This celebration comes ahead of June, which is National Homeownership Month. Habitat will welcome eight families to their new homes during Homeownership Month.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and West Pasco Counties
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has served over 800 homeowner partners since 1985. Over the last 12 months, Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco completed more new homes than any other affiliate in the country - earning a ranking of #1 producing affiliate in the network. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the energy efficient homes, and candidates purchase the home with a 0% interest mortgage upon completing the program. Habitat homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. Candidates must demonstrate need for adequate shelter; ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat to complete a robust homebuyer education curriculum and invest 350 to 450 “sweat equity” hours. Additionally, the affiliate raises funds through their ReStores; home improvement outlets where donated household and building items are sold to the public. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, call (727) 536-4755 or visitwww.habitatpwp.org.